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My Kind of Purgatory - 85%

ToeMentor, October 13th, 2013

Sordid Preludes to Purgatory is Purge’s first full-length album offering from this death metal foursome out of Île-de-France, Paris. It would seem that Purge has not garnered the attention that this release deserves; but if they play their cards right they sure can make it. Well, enough of that nonsense, and onto the music.

The album starts up with an intro track (surprise, surprise) which a load of wind, a roar, a man is whimpering. Chains or a crank starts turning and a man yells in agony in the background. Then you can hear chanting and swords clashing which turns into fire and industrial noises. I am not sure what the intro was trying to achieve, but it doesn’t work too much. It is far too all over the place and fairly unnecessary. Hell I’d rather go back and listen to the introduction track of Burzum’s Belus. At least it is over in a couple of minutes and Rise of Iniquity rips up like a chainsaw. A very Morpheus Descends feel, and manages to have a blistering fast feel without it sounding like a complete mess.

The album goes through at a good pace and does not give up. One of the real shiners of this album would definitely be “Plague Celebration”. A song so catchy that you’ll try to play it yourself. Starts off with one of the greatest riffs I’ve heard in recent time. The tempo decreases for a small while near the middle of the track - standard fare - and builds you up back into the facemelting. “Blastum” does well behind the kit and his proficiency and technicality should not be questioned. “Miserable Light of Holyness” is also a standout track and is a much more down-tempo one but doesn’t stray from brilliance, and Asphyx comes to mind.

The production of this album is above average. The sound is a bit low in the mix in comparison to other releases today but perhaps this is on purpose. For that oldschool feel I would assume. The only negative thing I can think of is that the drums seem a bit hollow and dry. Especially the snare. I feel as If it could have been improved. But I’m just nit-picking. The artwork is fairly minimal and drab. A blood-red fading up to a burnt ash-brown with some placements of skulls here and there. Probably the worst thing about the album – and it’s not even musical.

Overall; Sordid Preludes to Purgatory is a very solid release. It should be noted here that the band contains ex members of Glorior Belli and Aosoth, and the transitioning is done without flaw. While this is an amazing release; it does have minor flaws. Mostly being that the average track is not highly memorable. You would not think to listen to them unless you just happened to see it about. Regardless, this is a fine piece of Death Metal and should be considered for your collection. I feel that maybe after a few more years and a few more releases; this band will perform well within the death metal scene.